I greatly admire This American Life . I listen every week, and I’ve used episodes or parts of episodes with great success in my teaching. But I didn’t like the show’s the most recent episode, the five-hundredth, partly because of the general air of self-congratulation. But also: because I don’t like like .
From WBEZ Chicago, it’s This American Life , distributed by Public Radio International. I’m Ira Glass, and this is our 500th episode. And what does that feel like? Well, it feels like both a milestone and it feels like nothing. It feels like an odometer clicking over.It also feels like like :
And like, first of all, should we mark it at all? You know what I mean? Like 500 shows on the radio actually isn’t that big of a deal for most programs. Like Terry Gross, she knocks through 500 shows like every two years. Doesn’t even notice.I did. Noticed the like s, that is. Elaine did too. All through the show. We listened while driving, and every like, well, it like hung in the air in the car, and we couldn’t even open the windows because it was so hot outside. I mean like seriously, seriously hot.
You can read a transcript of the show and count the like s, if you like.
July 20: Reading through the transcript with the help of ⌘-F, I count fifty-three meaningless like s in the celebratory 2013 conversations between Ira Glass and contributors. The heaviest flurry follows:
Sarah Koenig: It’s so personal. And I feel like it’s really — I don’t know. Like I’ve known you for 10 years now, right? And I heard you say that. I was like, oh, right. That’s right. Because I was like, I know there’s a lot of times in interviews where I’ve just been listening in, and you’ll reveal this thing, and I’m always just like, that’s ballsy.[If you teach Hamlet , you should listen to episode 218.]
Ira Glass: To me that’s just so obvious that you would do that if you have something like that to do, because it’s good tape. Like your job is to make good tape. You know what I mean? Like that’s our job, is to make good tape.
Sarah Koenig: I know, but I feel like that’s the thing that’s different, right? Like you’re willing to kind of exploit anything you’ve got in there. And I think a lot of people, for a lot of people, that stuff is just off-limits.